Induced gamma oscillations differentiate familiar and novel voices in children with MECP2 duplication and Rett syndromes.


Normal levels of the methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) are critical to neurologic functioning, and slight alterations result in intellectual disability and autistic features. It was hypothesized that children with MECP2 duplication (overexpression of MeCP2) and Rett syndrome (underexpression of MeCP2) would exhibit distinct electroencephalographic (EEG) indices of auditory stimulus discrimination. In this study, gamma-band oscillatory responses to familiar and novel voices were examined and related to social functioning in 17 children (3-11 years old) with MECP2 duplication (n = 12) and Rett syndrome (n = 5). Relative to the stranger's voice, gamma activity in response to the mother's voice was increased in MECP2 duplication but decreased in Rett syndrome. In MECP2 duplication, greater mother versus stranger differences in gamma activity were associated with higher social functioning. For the first time, brain responses in a passive voice discrimination paradigm show that overexpression and underexpression of MeCP2 have differential effects on cortical information processing.